Statistics in the Elementary Grades

Exploring Distributions of Data

I really don’t remember learning or working on any data collection or analysis as an elementary school student ……. that was a few years ago Katie 🙂  But, I would have loved to have take the opportunity to take off my shoes and have them all thrown into a pile to physically sort into different categories (categorical data).  How much fun?!?  Then organizing the data information to create a representation.  After reading the article, I do understand the need to revisit the beginning question of the survey to have students discuss the information that the students gained and to compare the different categories of the data.  Has the data changed their perception of the initial question?  Then further the understanding by asking students to find their “data” in the representation and then ask extension questions.

I loved that sports was used as a means to teach about data collection and interpretation (discrete quantitative data).  Many students play soccer and what a way to get them initially interested and then engaged.  I was surprised that by asking students to identify the “fair” or “equal share” value of the game by giving each team one goal at a time ended up providing the same information as if one had used the math algorithm to find the mean.  But using the cubes in this way was much for meaningful than just working a “number” problem and hoping that students understand.  I was also surprised about using follow-up questions that do not have “clear-cut” answers but rather should make the students think about different ways that the data could be influenced.




One thought on “Statistics in the Elementary Grades

  1. I really liked the follow-up questions too! I wonder how difficult it might be to get elementary students invested enough within the data project to have them come up with solutions on their own or, if they’re interested enough in a problem, will they do what they can to solve it?


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